PITT v. Bowling Green Wrap Up
Pitt was more talented than Bowling Green, but they did not play 4 quarters of football. Bowling Green‚Äôs Spread Offensive Attack led by Junior Tyler Sheehan played efficiently and did not turn the ball over. The Bowling Green defense was opportunistic and made plays when they had too. In the end, Bowling Green defeated Pitt 27-17.
Last Weeks Keys to the Game
1. ‚ÄúWRAP EM UP‚Äù ‚Äì Pitt‚Äôs defense played a solid game, but BG marginalized Pitt‚Äôs front seven using the short passing game. Missed tackles and a missed interception by Eric Thatcher and Dom Decicco kept Bowling Green scoring drives alive.
2. ‚ÄúGROUND ASSAULT‚Äù- Pitt‚Äôs line performed poorly under difficult circumstances. Bowling Green blitzed on every play and the coaching staff never adjusted. As a result the running game was substandard.
3. ‚ÄúE SPECIAL LY SOLID‚Äù Pitt‚Äôs Special Teams were inconsistent. The kick coverage was good and Greg Romeus blocked an extra point, but the Panthers failed on a makeable field goal attempt.
I predicted a 35-17 Pitt victory, but failing on 2 of the 3 keys to the game and not trying to bury them in the first half sealed their fate. Hopefully this week is more promising on to Buffalo.
PITT v. Buffalo ‚Äì Heinz Field 6:00 p.m.
Pitt needs to find a way to put Bowling Green behind them and hit the reset button. Buffalo has there best team in school history, which doesn‚Äôt say much since they have never had a winning season since moving to D-1A. Buffalo is led by four year starter Drew Willy (16), a deep receiving corps and 1100 yard rusher James Starks(19). Buffalo‚Äôs offense is a little more traditional than Bowling Green and will rely on the run more often. On defense, Buffalo has a deep secondary and experienced defensive line, but they have had to move guys from other positions to fill the LB slots. The star on defense is Terrelle Pryor‚Äôs former sidekick Strong Safety DaVonte Shannon (7) Last season Shannon led all freshmen in tackles with 123 and made 1st team all-MAC.
Keys to the Game
‚ÄúPLAYMAKERS MAKE PLAYS‚Äù Pitt needs to use weapons other than LeSean McCoy. Get the ball to Nate Byham, play Greg Cross, utilize LaRod Stephens Howling and throw deep to Johnathan Baldwin at least 3 times. Last week Pitt appeared to be playing with handcuffs.
‚ÄúTURN THE TIDE‚Äù Pitt‚Äôs defense played well limiting Bowling Green to 254 total yards, but 1 int and 1 sack is not enough. Pitt‚Äôs defense needs to create turnovers and keep Willy on his back.
‚ÄúRETURN ON INVESTMENT‚Äù On special teams Pitt needs to help the offense out with explosive plays in the return game. A few easy scores would be just what the doctor ordered for Pitt‚Äôs offense.
Pitt will rebound this week and win 24-10.